The latest forecast revisions from Ampere Analysis reveal that the global entertainment sector is set to lose $160 billion (€146bn) of growth as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic over the next five years. While the biggest impact will be felt in 2020 and throughout 2021, growth will be reduced each year for the duration of the five year forecast period.
Though the vast majority of sectors in the entertainment industry will feel the negative effects of the pandemic, Ampere has identified the winners and losers.
“There are two ways to look at the loss of value: gross revenue and relative change,” said Guy Bisson, research director at Ampere Analysis. “Advertising is hit hardest both near term and overall, but drilling down into entertainment sectors shows that areas like theatrical are hit proportionally harder. The interconnected nature of the entertainment value chain means that it will have a number of effects in other areas of the value chain—some of which will not be fully felt for several years to come.”
The winners and losers
- While gross loss (the total amount of loss growth in dollar terms) will be greatest for the advertising sector, it’s also important to look at the relative impact pegged to the size of the sector. On that basis, theatrical will be hardest hit, set to lose $24.4 billion over the next five years, with its revenue growth down more than 11 percent over Ampere’s previous forecasts for the next five years.
- Over the five year forecast period, the entertainment sector overall (excluding advertising) is set to lose a net $23 billion of growth compared to pre-Covid-19 forecasts. But proportionally, entertainment is the most robust of the two sectors, losing just 1.2 percent of previously forecast value over the five year period. The sector is helped by a boost to the streaming market which will see additional growth and counter some of the loss.
- Pay-TV, which has suffered from the loss of sports coverage this season, will also lose significant value in what was already a challenging market structurally, representing around 4 percent of its previously forecast value.
- The advertising market across online and TV is the hardest hit sector near term and overall, with almost equal impact in both 2020 and 2021 (the ad market will lose nearly $40 billion of growth in 2021 and even more in 2021 ($43 billion). Recovery begins in 2022 but remains below previously forecast levels for the entire period.
- The intimately interconnected nature of the entertainment value chain and its content windows mean many effects will be felt for years to come. While closing cinemas has an immediate impact on theatrical income, the longer-term effects mean a glut of movies vying for release windows next year could ultimately lead to a slowdown in film production that impacts the content acquisition and distribution further down the line.
- The big winner will be streaming. Ampere’s latest forecasts suggest streaming will gain 12 percent of additional growth in revenue terms over the five year forecast period.
An accelerated shift toward streaming:
One core impact of the crisis has been to accelerate trends that were already underway before Covid-19 emerged as a global threat. The implementation of lockdown across the world has led to a huge surge in streaming consumption and new subscriptions, benefiting subscription video-on-demand (SVoD), broadcaster video-on-demand (BVoD) and other catch-up services. While Ampere expects to see some of these short-term gains reversed when a lockdown is lifted, the shift toward on-demand viewing was already underway, so this acceleration caused by the current pandemic is a trend Ampere fully expects to remain after the crisis.
“Streaming services are likely to come out on top here as viewers are leaning on streaming content providers heavily, just as a slew of new platforms enter the market,” Bisson said. “Yes, there will likely be a temporary post-lockdown backlash. But the key to the longer-term prospects is the acceleration of consumer behavioral change, which will benefit streamers.”